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Music Consumption: Louis Armstrong
08/31/2000 Louis Armstrong: The Hot Fives and Hot Sevens box set

My new-working-situation present to myself was...the new Legacy/Columbia Louis Armstrong Box Set covering the Hot Five and Hot Seven lineups--truly amazing. I'd heard the NPR bit on "West End Blues" and had to get more. Many thanks to everyone on the Zornlist who pointed me toward this set. It's four discs of pure pleasure. Sounds great, fantastic notes and packaging--sort of a CD-era echo of the big books 78s came in. And there are treasures on here well beyond "West End Blues," too. There's something pleasing about hearing digitally remastered scratchy and fuzzy 78s. The performances! Truly something to behold, particularly Pops himself, and Johnny Dodds on clarinet...but, damn--the whole band cooked. There are a few tunes included out of a desire to be definitive--contractual stuff where they backed some sugary female vocalist, for instance--but otherwise, it is totemic.